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Kenta Maeda helped off field after taking line drive off his right leg

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X-rays were negative.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda left Tuesday night's game against the Diamondbacks in the sixth inning after taking a line drive directly off his lower right leg.

Maeda suffered a lower right leg contusion and X-rays were negative, the Dodgers announced during the game.

Goldschmidt hit a 95-mph line drive that ricocheted directly off Maeda, who recovered then threw out Goldschmidt at first base for the first out of the inning. But Maeda immediately collapsed to the ground in pain after the play and was holding his right leg.

After being on the ground for several minutes, Maeda was helped to his feet but still in obvious pain. He could barely put any weight on his right leg, and was helped off the field by trainer Nathan Lucero and hitting coach Turner Ward. How there wasn't a stadium cart made available at that moment remains a mystery.

Maeda sat in the dugout for several minutes before being helped again down the steps to the clubhouse.

On the SportsNet LA broadcast, Alanna Rizzo reported that manager Dave Roberts referred to Maeda being injured below the right knee, somewhere near the shin area.

Maeda, in the first year of an eight-year contract with the Dodgers, has been one of the team's bright spots this season, with a 2.75 ERA in 13 starts, with 71 strikeouts and 21 walks in 75⅓ innings.

Maeda left the game with a lead on Tuesday, allowing three runs, two earned on six hits in 5⅓ innings, with six strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander has a 27.8-percent strikeout rate in June.

Whether Maeda will be able to make his next start isn't yet known, but if he isn't able to go on Sunday the most likely options are either Frankie Montas or Jharel Cotton, both on the 40-man roster and in Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Cotton lasted a season-high seven innings on Tuesday night against Omaha, and would be in line to start on regular rest on Sunday. Since returning from the bullpen to the starting rotation on May 23, Cotton has a 2.57 ERA, 34 strikeouts and nine walks in 28 innings.

Montas is scheduled to start Wednesday for Oklahoma City, but with a 9:05 a.m. PT start we should know fairly soon what the Dodgers' plans are for him. Montas has pitched for three weeks since returning from rib resection surgery in February, striking out 18 with only two walks in 12 innings. He last pitched last Thursday, striking out six over four scoreless innings, allowing a run on two hits.